Friday, August 12, 2011


"The Lord doesn't want me to be an activist in the LDS Church, he just wants me to be active."

That's a paraphrase from something I read in an essay once.  I'm not sure, but I think it was a black person sharing his experience in the Church.

I was at BYU when this happened:

Image source:

People were protesting some of President Packer's General Conference remarks in October of 2010.  You can read a write-up by the Salt Lake Tribune here.  They taped their mouths shut and lay around the SLC temple grounds, suggesting that speech like President Packer's leads to depression and sometimes suicide in LDS gay youth.

I remember the talk.  I was sitting in my roommate's sister's family room with her family and my roommates.  I didn't think much of it.  Most of it went over my head.  Or I agreed with him.

I don't think I logically agreed with what the protesters were arguing--I mean, this man is an apostle ... how can you protest what he says?  On the other hand, I remember part of me wanting to go downtown and participate.  But I let myself be scared by BYU.  [Tiffany pointed out BYU's intimidation factor in her comments on this post.]

One of my professors at BYU would say that going from Packer's talk to suicide is an improper logical jump, and rather manipulative.

I do believe that the LDS Church has a long way to go in providing gays with the sort of mental stability that their straight counterparts have.  I had a gay cousin.  [Truth be told, with 80 or so cousins, several of us are probably gay.  At least two of us remain. :)]  Church was not a safe place for him, and he committed suicide.  One probably did not lead directly to the other, but perhaps it contributed?

*Sound the you're being manipulated music.*

I'm not trying to manipulate you.  I promise.  Proof: I'm gay, I'm Mormon, and I'm enjoying life.  A lot.

ANYWAY, what do you think--can we be activists in the Church?  SHOULD we be?  WHY do many gays feel so different in the Church, despite the Church's efforts to love and support them?


  1. Sorry, but what EXACTLY are the Church's efforts to love and support its gay members (and gay people, in general)? I am afraid I missed those.

    Regarding activism: I believe Heavenly Father gave us minds and hearts to use. If we, in good conscience, see and feel things that need changing, we need to exercise our hearts and minds, and activism, and change them. Don't you think?

  2. I'm gonna have to agree with Sweeti pi on this one. Such statements like Packer's and others in the Church are implying such things as "you're inferior," in my view. And I do agree with her comment on activism. Activism is, in my opinion, part of the nature of a just and good God.

  3. For starters, (I should probably read the talk again) I don't think that Packer's talk was as heinous as everyone likes to make it out to be. He was addressing a tough topic. I think people who wanted to be offended were offended, but honestly I think it's far better to have this church TALKING about it rather than ignoring it.

    Second, members of the church can absolutely be activists! Now, when I talk about activism I mean doing something for some cause to create a better community and society. Personally, I don't like protests. Although silent protests are wonderful. I like to do things where I can actually have a voice. Simply by posting on this blog you are being an activist (please let more people know about the blog!!!). The discussion panels I organize are part of activism. The youtube videos I make fall under activism. I think what we need to keep in mind is there are many ways to be activists. Sometimes we just need to be creative about it. And, quite frankly if there is a God and he created gay people and stuck them in a situation where they were Mormons then damn it we are SUPPOSED to be activists because who else is going to be? We have the knowledge, the experience, the feelings, the motivation. If anyone is going to bring about change it is the gay mormoms.

  4. I was at the conference when Packer was speaking. I remember thinking that the talk was getting onto shaky ground when i was listening, but didn't find it too offensive.... until he said one thing... it was along the lines of 'why would heavenly father do that to one of his children?'

    My jaw dropped. That argument has been made by everyone for every problem! (I have clinical depression and was suicidal for a long time) a lot of people in the world, and the church, believe that it's all in your head and 'why would god do that to his children?'.

    I will admit i was extremely POed because of that statement.

    However on the topic of Activism, i think we have the right, and the church's support to do so. They have always said to find out for yourselves and not to just follow the crowd. That is the one doctrine that i keep and hold to my heart.